Booking business class to Europe at 45,000 miles via Turkish Airlines (AGAIN)

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But first, the picture

I get inspired in so many ways. Sometimes it’s through a movie, or a book, or a personal story, or social media posts. Thanks to Mayuri S., she’s a member of my Daddy Travels Miles & Points on Facebook. She shared a few of her glorious pictures from her trip to Turkey, and that was enough to convince me to finally book a trip to Turkey.

Jason, weren’t you just in Turkey?

During our trip to Greece, we had an opportunity to fly Turkish Airlines Business Class to Athens. However, we had to do some work around to do that. I couldn’t find a 45,000 points promotion flying out of Los Angeles. So I had to position ourselves and flew Southwest Airlines from Los Angeles (LAX) to Houston (IAH). We spent the night in Houston, and the following day, we flew Turkish Airlines Business Class from Houston (IAH) to Istanbul (IST).
Prior to flying to Athens, we did had a 15-hour layover in Istanbul, a perfect opportunity to get out of the airport and explore a bit of Turkey. But, the weather that day was not in our favor. We were offered a 6-hour walking tour of the city, but with all the rain, we didn’t want to go on a walking tour on a rainy day (it poured really hard that day). Instead, we opted to stay inside the airport, relaxed, took care of business, caught up on social media, and prepared ourselves for Greece.
So to answer your question. Yes, we were just in Turkey, but we stayed inside the airpoirt and to me, that does not really count as far as saying that I’ve visited Turkey.  So as you can see, I had to some unfinished business in Turkey. I told myself that we will return, not only for a few hours, but we wanted to spend a few days to visit Turkey.
Turkish Airlines Business Class from Houston to Istanbul

Looked and booked a year out

I simply went to the Turkish Airlines website and keyed in a couple of dates. I wanted to see if there were any business class flights out of Los Angeles. I wasn’t opposed to positioning ourselves again to another airport, but I would really prefer flying direct to Turkey out of LA.
Lo and behold, I found two business class seats out of Los Angeles to Istanbul at 45,000 each way per person.

It was like riding a bike

I knew I wanted to book two round trip business class tickets at 45K per person each way. So for two of us, that would be a total of 180,000 miles. I knew exactly what to do next because I booked something similar just a year ago, and I’ve learned many lessons from my first booking.

Got my ducks in a row

  • Transferred 180,000 miles from my Capital One account to Turkish Airlines
  • The transfer was instant
  • I tried to book our two tickets online but the app and website advised me to call Turkish Airlines to book on the phone. I spoke with Ahmed, I explained to him what I wanted to do.
  • He asked for the following:
  • Turkish Airlines Miles and Smiles Account number
  • Flight information (date, cabin, and # of passengers)
  • Names of the passengers – I had to slowly and clearly spell out our names, and Ahmed spelled everything back to me
  • Email address – provided him my email address (again I had to spell it all out)
  • He confirmed the flight that would work for me
  • Once we agreed, he transferred me to two different extensions:
    1. pay for the fees using a credit card
    2. authorize the use of 180,000 points to book this trip
An email from Turkish Airlines was quickly generated and sent to me for review. And that was that!
One business class round trip ticket from Los Angeles to Istanbul

Breakdown of the costs of our booking

  • LAX-IST = 45,000 miles + $222 USD
  • IST- LAX = 45,000 miles + $256 USD
  • Total per person = 90,000 miles + $470 taxes/fees
  • Total for two passengers = 180,000 miles + $940
  • Value of the two round business class tickets = $14,826.80
  • Total cash value two round trip business class tickets

Credit card programs that transfer to Turkish Airlines

  • Capital One Miles – 1:1 transfer ratio (instant transfer from personal experience)
    • Capital One Venture  Rewards Credit Card
    • Capital One Venture X Rewards Card
    • Capital One Venture X Business
  • Citi ThankYou Points – 1:1 transfer ratio (instant transfer from personal experience)
    • Citi Premier®Card
    • Citi Rewards+®Card
    • Citi® Double Cash Card
    • Citi® Custom Cash Card
  • BILT Rewards – 1:1 transfer ratio
    • Bilt World Elite Mastercard® Credit Card
  • Marriott Bonvoy – 3:1 transfer ratio
    • Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card
    • Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card
    • Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card
    • Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express® Card


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Editorial Disclosure: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.

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